Hattiesburg church announces 2013 Irish Italian Festival Parade royalty

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A press conference was held Friday morning at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church to announce the royalty for this year's Irish Italian Festival Parade.

The church decided to change things up a bit, and named the University of Southern Mississippi Dean of Students, Eddie Holloway as the Grand Marshal, and Denise Ervine and Ryan Hendley as the 2013 Irish Italian Festival Parade Colleen and King.

While money raised in the past usually helped individuals in need, this year the money will go towards helping a much needed cause.

"After the tornado hit one month ago, we were wondering whether or not the festival would go ahead," said St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church Pastor, Tommy Conway. "We made the decision to go ahead with the festival, but also to give all our proceeds to help with tornado relief. All of the money from this year's festival will be going into the disaster account at St. Thomas Church, which we set up right after the tornado and will continue to help people in our area, which we're doing already."

The parade is set for March 16 at 10:30 a.m. The festival will be from 5 – 10 p.m.

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